House panel urges FinMin to ensure at least ₹2,000 as minimum pension

BL New Delhi Bureau | Updated on: Mar 15, 2022

Parliamentary Panel asks the Centre to make annual budgetary provision for the purpose

New Delhi, March 15

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour has urged for Finance Ministry’s intervention to ensure that minimum monthly pension payable to the employees provident fund pensioner may be raised to at least ₹2,000 per month. The panel has also recommended the Centre to make annual budgetary provision for the purpose.

The panel said in its report on Demands for Grants of the Ministry of Labour and Employment that in 2018, it recommended that minimum monthly of ₹2,000 per month provided annual budgetary provision for the same is made. “However, the Ministry of Finance has not agreed to any such enhancement in minimum pension beyond ₹1,000 per month. In this context, the Committee find that the issue has been discussed in detail by several committees which have come to the conclusion that unless and until the actuarial assessment of surplus/deficit of EPFO’s pension schemes are made, revision of the monthly pension of the EPFO members cannot be done,” the report said.

‘₹1,000 pension inadequate’

The panel added that another Committee has been formed to look into the issue and to ascertain more contribution by the members of the pension scheme. “In view of the fact that ₹1,000 per month pension which was fixed eight years back appears to be grossly inadequate now, it becomes imperative on the part of the Ministry of Labour & Employment to pursue the matter with the Ministry of Finance for obtaining adequate budgetary support as recommended by the High-Empowered Monitoring Committee besides impressing upon the EPFO to make an actuarial assessment of all its pension schemes so that the monthly member pension is enhanced to a reasonable extent,” the report said.

The panel also expressed concern at the huge amount of outstanding arrears of ₹4,459.67 crore (recoverable – ₹2,296.17 crore and non- recoverable ₹2,163.50 crore) during 2020-21. The report said steps such as attaching bank account of defaulters, attachment of movable/immovable property, recourse to garnishee proceedings and arrest of defaulters have not yielded the desired results and appear to be inadequate to deter violations.

The panel also asked the Labour Ministry to leverage their spending pattern on those schemes where the utilisation percentage is not upto-the-mark so as to ensure optimal achievement of the 2021-22 budgetary allocations by March 31, 2022.

Published on March 15, 2022
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